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True Love’s Prerequisite

Okay, I’m going to make a crazy counter-cultural statement here (which is kind of typical for me). Love is NOT the result of a spine-tingling infatuation with someone of the opposite sex. No, true love is birthed through humility.

The pursuit of love can only come by traveling the road of humility. 

Love is not self-seeking, thus love must be birthed through humility. At the bowing of the head, the humbling of the heart, grace finds entrance. And grace empowers a fierce woman to truly love.

When I blog on the topic of humility, a common response I hear is the concern that I’m proposing women become “doormats.” (My husband chuckles when he reads one of these comments, because he knows I’m no “doormat!”)

It’s obvious that humility is not a character quality many admire today. Sherry Argov, a New York Times best-selling author, comedian and radio show host, offers this advice to women:

“Humility? Don’t worry. It’s a treatable affliction, a mental glitch. If you catch yourself being modest or humble or any of that nonsense, correct the problem immediately . . . If someone else doesn’t like your confidence, that’s their problem. Why? You always come before they do, that’s why” (emphasis hers).

Her counsel flies in the face of our calling as Christ-followers. It’s the opposite of God’s instruction in how to treat others. Her advice echoes the attitude of our culture, which gets hung up on the idea of humility and views it from a negative perspective. This beautiful (and necessary) virtue gets a bad rap today and I wonder if people have confused humility with unhealthy debasement.

Humility is not beating up yourself or submitting to abusive behavior.  

Humility is not having a negative self-image. 

No, not at all, in fact . . . humility’s view of self is eclipsed by a right view of God. In reality, humility has little to do with how I see myself, but has everything to do with how I see God.

Humility is the true response to a proper view of God.  

Yesterday I shared with you how prone we are to slide into the default position of pride. By “pride” I mean a self-centered focus that views all of life through the grid of “how this affects ME.” In contrast to that, humility operates from a God-centered perspective that views all of life through the grid of how my heart and actions promote (or detract from) God’s glory.

Humility opens the door for God’s presence to be at home in our hearts (Isaiah 57:15) and His grace to move into the situation at hand (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).

Jesus compared this condition to that of a little child. It’s the recognition that we are helpless and completely dependent on Him. Humility doesn’t grasp for, or demand control, but it gladly surrenders to the Master’s control. When we maintain a steady gaze on God, childlike humility permeates our thoughts, attitudes, and actions.

How Humility affects a Fierce Woman:

  • She recognizes God is God and she’s not, so she can release control to Him.
  • She recognizes she’s not always right, therefore she doesn’t demand others see things her way.
  • She’s teachable and open to input/correction for spiritual growth from others. She’s willing to be held accountable after being confronted with blind-spots.
  • Because she recognizes God’s worth and value, her submission to Him motivates her to treat others with kindness and respect.
  • She’s a “soft” warrior. Her strength is not diminished by humility but is refined and tempered by it. She is soft clay in the Potter’s hands.

Yesterday I asked: “What is your default position?” Compare what you saw described in that post with today’s characteristics of humility. What is God showing you?

Excerpt from Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior © 2012• Kimberly Wagner • Moody Publishers

2 Comments

  • JEN

    I loved reading your blog this morning. It is a great reminder of the one who created us in his image. I struggled with pride for a long time, and still do sometimes. Yet, I have grown so much in my walk, where God taught me, everything is not always about me. Sometimes I would get so mad when my husband did not show me love the way that I showed him. At first I would turn my hurt inward, “Why am I not good enough.” Then I would become outraged, “I deserve better.” Both places are miserable. It wasn’t until I realized God is the only one who fulfills all those needs, not a person, not a man. I began to find my identity in the One who is worthy, the most high God. Sometimes we as women can place our worth and identity in things of this world (school, career, mother) or other people (husbands, boyfriends, etc.). However, when I placed my worth in God’s hands and trusted Him my life changed. I no longer needed those things because my identity as a child of God is worth far more. I am humble and confident and joyful. I know that I am inadequate, but I know my worth in Christ Jesus. Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).

    Love your blog, Kim.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Jen ~

    Thank you for your sweet encouragement today and especially for sharing your heart. I LOVE hearing testimonies like yours, so Christ exalting and inspiring for those who are struggling! You nailed it when you described how realizing our true identity in Christ settles every issue. It fills us with humble confidence and joy!

    May you have a day filled with tangible evidence of God’s amazing grace!

    Blessings ~